News from Ukraine June 27, 2023

June 27, ( Day 489)

News from Ukraine

Last week was full of different events. The first family settled in the Refugee Center and immediately became involved in the development process. The yard became bright with the flowers and they shared some plans what other things they are going to plant. Sergey and Svetlana came from Kherson region where they had a beautiful garden with many exotic trees and flowers. The enemy came to their village on the first day of the war. They were able to escape from the occupied territory and do not know what is happening to their home. I watched them working in the yard with such love. Their cat Whini also became an inhabitant of the building, exploring the rooms and the yard. We hope to receive new families in the building soon as the progress of renovation is progressing.

On Saturday there was a big event in our church– the start of Super Book club which will work every Saturday during the summer. With a great joy we watched our youth group preparing for it. They did everything themselves, prepared Bible stories, music, crafts, games and snacks. We were so proud of them watching how they welcomed children and involved them into the wonderful world of interesting activities teaching them the most important truth. We expect more and more children every week as they bring their friends with them.

Last week, for the first time in the entire period of the war, we were distracted from our news and watched with great interest the show that took place in Russia. Unfortunately, there was no expected end, there was no end at all. Everything started so fast and stopped so incomprehensibly. They are incapable of anything, exept dictatorship in their own country, not even a coup d'état.

We still wake up at nights from the sounds of alarm and monitor our messengers to find out what is happening. A big tension that is hanging in the air now is the situation on Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant. We know that everything is mined there and if it explodes there will be another nuclear catastrophe polluting everything around with radiation. It’s hard to think about it, we pray and hope it will not happen. But after all this terror that we have already experienced we do not know what to expect.

There was a long silence from Paul, no messages for four days again. We were so glad when Sveta, his mother told that she not only got a message from him but also talked to him. Dr Anya is staying somewhere nearby, but her unit has to change their positions from time to time. It looks like some traitor gives away the information about their positions to the enemy and night rockets are hunting for them. Please, pray for their safety.

New refugees joined our group last week. A mother Tatyana and her two sons Egor and Zhenya (7 and 9 years old) who came from Kherson were shy, not very talkative. But they liked being in the group and we talked a little bit at the end of the meeting. Another family is not new (Svetlana, her elderly mother and her son Stepan), they returned to Nikolayev in winter, but they had to leave their city again and came back to our town where they took refuge before. Nikolayev was attacked a lot these last months.

The latest events: flood, intensive attacks, preparation of the army for counter offensive put an impact on everybody, we feel that people have more needs: emotional, physical and financial. Sometimes we have a feeling that we need to run and cannot stop. We continue to collect help for people from the flooded areas. Numerous packed boxes are waiting in or church to be shipped to Kherson area. Yesterday I received a letter from the group of volunteers from Dnipro, the city in the central area, they ask if our counselors can visit them and do some group or individual work with them, they feel burnt out. Our counselors are ready to travel and work with them. But I have a thought that they probably need the same help, we should help each other.

I am going to have a break next month, I plan to travel to the USA to visit my daughter and grandchildren and to meet with my dear friends. I am very excited about my trip but on the other hand I know that my thoughts and my worries will be about my country. Sergey will wait for me here and take some of my responsibilities while I am away.
Please, continue to pray for our work and our ministry.

In Christ,

P.S. There are photos of or youth group starting the Super Book club, the photos of Sergey and Svetlana and the flowers in the yard, the photo of Paul happy to get the mosquito repellent and the photo of Dr. Anya giving instruction of safety measures to our church( it is not allowed to eat fish, to walk near the river and drink tap water)